Natalie Goldberg has a…

Natalie Goldberg has a bit in one of her books where she talks about setting up a poetry booth at a state fair, where she offers to write people poems, on the subject of their choice, for $1 each. This Patreon project keeps reminding me of that. Someone pledges a $1 / month to support my writing, and in exchange, they're getting poems, the kind of poems that are written quickly and thrown out into the world. Spindrift. For Goldberg, a Zen Buddhist, this practice is a meditation on letting go, letting go of the need to revise and perfect things, to hold onto them. I'm not quite as Zen as she is -- I'm keeping copies of them, hope to someday revise at least some of them into the kind of poetry book I'd like to publish.

Patreon seems to be working in terms of getting me to write a bit -- five poems in five days, which is more poetry than I've written in a long, long time. In that sense, a success. But I'm not entirely thrilled with what I've written -- I've squeezed out the poetry fairly quickly, in ten minutes here or there. It hasn't led to more writing in the day, more concentrated thought and effort. I had hoped it would serve as a writing prompt, a little kick on the pants to get me going every day. Not so much of that yet. No fiction or nonfiction either -- just poetry.

Now, granted, the semester just started, and getting my syllabi finalized had to take priority, so once things settle down again, that may improve. But I think I may have to make a more concerted effort if I want to really use this to make more space for [braver, more experimental, edgier, weirder] writing in my life.

Interesting. (Patreon donors -- I fret. Are you tired of the poetry? Do you want something different?)

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